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Huawei Mate Xs 2; Detailed Hands-On Review

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Huawei Mate Xs 2

The Huawei Mate Xs 2 is the company’s sixth foldable device, following the Huawei Mate X in 2019, the Huawei Mate Xs in 2020, the Huawei Mate X2 in 2021, and the Huawei P50 Pocket in 2022.

Price and Launch Date

The Huawei Mate Xs 2 comes in colors white, black, and purple. The 8/256GB trim starts at CNY 9,999 ($1,512), and the 12/512GB variant costs CNY 12,999 ($1,966).

Design

When folded, the Huawei Mate Xs 2’s display maintains a 6.5-inch useable area while stretching to a smaller 7.8-inch diagonal. The panel might vary up to 120Hz while retaining the exact resolution of 2200x2480px. These differences are instantly noticeable: the body is 45g lighter and somewhat smaller overall.

What you’ll see with the Mate Xs 2 is a refined polishing of what the original outward-folding shape of the original Mate X had. Mate Xs 2 feels much more streamlined than the original Mate X, and when unfolded, the main body is even more slimline than typical smartphones.

When folded out, the back’s rough carbon fibre-like surface adds to its beautiful appearance and incredible feel while improving grip. Everything is held together by a strong metal frame, with the bezels also relatively narrow.

Huawei Mate Xs 2

Display

The display has significantly improved since the Mate Xs. According to Huawei, the panel becomes exceptionally bright and shows beautiful colours as a True-Chrome foldable display. When completely extended, the screen has an aspect ratio of 8:7.1; when folded, it has an aspect ratio of 19:9, providing a relatively conventional one-handed experience. A nano optical anti-reflective layer has also been applied by Huawei to its flagship phone this time.

Huawei Mate Xs 2

Specs

In contrast to the Mate Xs and its 5G-capable Kirin 990 CPU, Huawei chose the Snapdragon 888 chipset for the Mate Xs 2. Mate Xs 2 also lacks a 5G modem. Users outside China will have to compromise with just 8GB of RAM, but the 512GB storage is more than plenty.

HarmonyOS and EMUI 12 are preinstalled on the Mate Xs 2 at launch. With features like Smart Multi-Window, Split-screen, floating windows, swiping gestures, and the ability to swivel the screen in any direction you want, it is a responsive OS that works well with the foldable form factor.

However, the Mate Xs 2 can only use apps in Huawei’s App Gallery. This could be a disadvantage because even though they have experienced tremendous growth, the absence of Google apps and the complete lack of Android app store compatibility will inevitably drive away many power users.

It’s interesting to note that under some circumstances, like while using the native browser or changing settings, the Mate Xs 2 doesn’t achieve its maximum 120Hz refresh rate.

Camera

The phone’s image processing software may occasionally over-fine-tune your photos regarding the camera. However, the camera also has some exciting options that you may try out.

For instance, Story Creator, which seems to be software that automatically makes something similar to an Instagram Story for you, and Dual-View, which activates both the front and rear cameras for vlogging (with pre-set themes to pick from).

The Mate Xs 2’s foldability makes it simple to shoot a selfie using the rear camera because the phone’s screen serves as a “mirror.” However, using a phone case may interfere with this functionality.

Huawei Mate Xs 2

The Conclusion

The Huawei Mate Xs 2 offers enticing design elements and decent cameras. Although the entire display is exposed due to its folding shape, there are no doubts about its outstanding appearance and functional advantages.

Overall, it’s a fun phone to use, and in terms of design, its pros and cons balance each other well. It’s just a matter of getting used to it.